From Artistic Directors Aaron Wunsch & Julia Bruskin
Everywhere we go, people ask us about the Skaneateles Festival. Is it really as beautiful there as everyone says? Yes. Are you looking forward to the festival? Yes! What do you have in store for the programs? Well, …
An exciting and diverse roster of over 75 artists from around the country and the world will join us at the festival this summer. Many of them are at the absolute forefront of what they do: from Metropolitan Opera soprano Lisette Oropesa (“irresistible,” New York Times); to the Miró Quartet (“exceptional,” New York Times); to jazz sensation Joshua Redman (“a knockout,” New York Times); to leading Klezmer innovator David Krakauer (“electrifying,” New York Times); to Grammy-winning vocal octet Roomful of Teeth (“pure joy,” Boston Globe); to the New York Philharmonic’s principal clarinetist, Anthony McGill (“radiant,” Baltimore Sun)—these are performers everywhere in demand.
When we speak with them, they often express how much they are genuinely looking forward to their arrival in Skaneateles. We tell them: wait until you meet the audience! We don’t know a community anywhere that loves its festival more than Skaneateles. Talented and enthusiastic performers encouraged by an appreciative and supportive audience: this is a recipe for truly great music making.
Matching the performers with each other and with music to perform is one of our joys as artistic directors. We hope that in every program you will find something moving, something surprising, and something uplifting. If you return for more than one program (and we hope you will!), you may notice some themes emerge from among all the diverse artists and musical selections:
Instrument Spotlight: The Clarinet
Hear several of the world’s great clarinetists show how versatile their instrument really is: from the lyrical elegance of Mozart, to the folk rhythms of Bartók, to the wild flourishes of Klezmer, hear an astonishing emotional range from this small piece of wood.
For all of its elevated aspirations, this summer’s music stays grounded in the melodies and rhythms of folk culture. Hear the sounds of American bluegrass, Jewish Klezmer, Inuit throat singing, as well as melodies from Israel, Ireland, Italy…and that’s just the “I’s.”
More than your average ‘solo and accompaniment,’ these dramatic and virtuosic duos explore the ups and downs between two absolutely equal individuals--from argument, to agreement, to agree-to-disagree.
Composer Spotlight: Judd Greenstein
Up-and-coming composer Judd Greenstein has helped to break down the walls between classical and pop without losing depth or a sense of fun. Hear his works during the festival – let them engage your mind, heart, and foot (tapping).
We feel so fortunate to be joining the Skaneateles community this season, and it is an honor and a pleasure to work with such a dedicated staff and volunteers. We truly hope your experience with the music—and with each other—is a memorable one. Please introduce yourself and share with us your thoughts on what you hear! We will be right there with you, taking it all in.
Aaron & Julie
▼ 2015 Robinson Award Winner, Brian Gadbow, Cello
Brian Gadbow is a 2015 graduate of Whitesboro High School. His path in playing cello began in 3rd grade in Whitesboro School’s music program with Nancy Paul. Private study began in 5th grade with Florent Renard-Payen, and later with Suzanne Beevers. Currently studying with Gregory Wood of Syracuse University and Symphoria, Brian immerses himself vocally and instrumentally. He sings and plays in 3 vocal and 3 instrumental ensembles and recently had the opportunity to be a vocalist with the High School Jazz Band, and to conduct his High School Choir. He was in the Choir at Grace Episcopal Church in Utica and a member of the Syracuse Youth Orchestras where, during the last two years, he was principal cellist. Brian was selected as the 2015 SYO Concerto Competition winner, performing the 4th Movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto. As the 2014 Civic Morning Musicals/Symphoria Concerto Competition winner, Brian performed the 1st Movement of the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major with Symphoria. Brian participated in the 2014 and 2015 NYSSMA Conference All-State Orchestras, and in the 2015 NAfME All-Eastern Honors Orchestra. He was the 1st place Senior Division winner of the 2014 Central NY Association of Music Teachers Instrumental Competition, this year’s winner of the CNYAMT Senior Scholarship Competition, and a 3-time 1st place winner of the Jr. B Sharp String Competition in Utica. He is also the 1st place winner of the Oneida County Music Educators Association Senior Scholarship Competition. During summer study Brian was principal cellist for two years at Crane Youth Music, and received the Outstanding Musician of Symphony Orchestra Award. He spent a summer in Saratoga at NYSSSA School of Orchestral Studies, and another at Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina where he studied with Julian Schwarz, was a principal cellist, and was chosen to perform in a Master Class for renowned cellist, Lynn Harrell.This summer Brian will attend the BUTI Young Artists Orchestra at Tanglewood. Besides music, Brian enjoys running, reading, swimming, and spending time with family and friends. He is the son of James Gadbow and Susan Tarpinian Gadbow. In the fall Brian will attend the Eastman School of Music where he will study with David Ying, former Skaneateles Festival artistic director, majoring in Cello Performance. Brian hopes to someday have a career playing professionally in an orchestra or chamber group, soloing, and teaching.
▼ Music Workshops
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 11:00 AM.
Open workshops for music students of all ages and levels will be conducted by Artistic Directors Julia Bruskin and Aaron Wunsch.
All instruments are welcome. Please complete and return the registration form below.
First Presbyterian Church Advanced registration required. $10 per entry, registration form required.
Email SkanFest at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
▼ Met Orchestra Interview with Julia Bruskin
Introducing: Julia Bruskin, Cellist
interview by Katherine Anderson, violist
Julia Bruskin, cellist, is the newest member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She lives in NYC with her husband, pianist Aaron Wunsch, and their 9-month-old son Gabriel. I had the privilege of speaking with Julia during intermissions of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
Katherine Anderson: What was the first thing you did after you found out you'd won the Met audition?
Julia Bruskin: I was so amazed as I was completely not expecting it! I called my husband and then they took me down, in my dazed state, to meet my future stand partner and the rest of the audition committee.
KA: What was that like?
JB: Everyone was so friendly. It was really a wonderful way to be introduced to the group.
KA: Did you celebrate after that?
JB: Yes! I went right home so I could be there for bedtime with my son, Gabriel. When he was asleep we cooked dinner and opened the nicest bottle of wine we had. The audition was the day before Thanksgiving, so I was able to celebrate with my whole family. It was an incredible Thanksgiving!
KA: What were you doing before playing in the Met Orchestra?
JB: I perform with the Claremont Trio. My twin sister Emily is the violinist in the group and the pianist is Andrea Lam. We started the trio in 1999 and have been touring actively since 2001. I love playing trios; it's something that has always been a favorite of mine, and over the years we've grown to know each other pretty well like any ensemble.
KA: Are you going to continue playing with your trio?
JB: Yes, absolutely! One of the great things about the job at the Met for me is that there is some flexibility to plan my opera schedule around our trio concerts. I am very glad to be able to continue performing with my trio while doing this new job.
KA: Your parents must've been excited when they heard you were taking the audition.
JB: Well, actually - I didn't tell them I was auditioning! It would've been more pressure, and they would've been wondering what was happening. My parents are huge opera fans and they go to Ring cycles around the world.
KA: What is your favorite restaurant?
JB: Mas (farmhouse) in the Village. We've been looking for a day to go back since the baby was born.....sigh...
KA: What book are you currently reading?
JB: Mostly baby-related books, but the last novel I loved was by Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna.
KA: Have you seen any movies lately?
JB: We haven't been to the movies since Gabriel was born, but we'd love to go again soon!
KA: If you could just randomly walk out your door on a Sunday morning, where would you end up?
JB: I'd spend the day with my family. It would be a beautiful day and we'd go to the park with Gabriel, bring a picnic and the Sunday NY Times, and then meet up with friends.
KA: Finding that balance of being a new mom and starting a new job must be quite an undertaking! Any tips or thoughts on how you juggle everything?
JB: The number one thing is that I have an amazing husband! He helps out a lot and is wonderful with Gabriel. He's a pianist and teaches at Juilliard, so he's home a lot of evenings while I play operas. That's made the transition a lot easier. I guess I would say to someone in my shoes, "It's possible!" I wouldn't have thought it was possible until I was doing it. When I was preparing for the audition I was practicing during Gabriel's naps, while he was playing and mostly late at night after he went to bed. I've always been a late-night practicer and it was a way to clear my head and really focus on something. I've always liked having something to work towards.
KA: Where did you and your husband meet?
JB: At Juilliard, well...... actually we met here, I guess I should tell you that story.....
KA: Here, as in, at the Met?!
JB: Yes! We started our master's degrees at Juilliard the same year and were in a class together. Our teacher, Claudio Spies, knows James Levine, who invited him to bring his class to dress rehearsals. So the first time our class went to the Met was to the dress rehearsal of [Wagner's] Die Meistersinger. During the intermission everyone else went to have lunch in the cafeteria; we were the only two people who had brought our own lunches with us. So we sat in a box by ourselves upstairs and talked, and that was the first time we really got to know each other.
KA: What were your expectations of joining the Met orchestra? Did you have any idea what it would be like?
JB: I had friends who played in the orchestra, and I definitely had the impression that it was an amazing job but also a hard job - a lot of work, a lot of hours, but also some of the most incredible music in the world! I certainly imagined it would have challenging aspects, but I knew that people were generally really happy here. I thought of it as an orchestra that sounded great every time I heard it. It seemed like people were in the moment and playing beautifully.
KA: Does anything stand out that someone said or shared with you your first few weeks on the job?
JB: My stand partner looked over at me before my first performance and said, "This is the beginning of the rest of your life. " Up until that moment I was just going day to day. I really hadn't been thinking quite so long term!! Everyone was so friendly from the very beginning. So far my experience has been incredibly positive and everybody has been really welcoming.
KA: Julia, we are so lucky to have you join us. I'm glad that you've felt welcomed! Thanks for taking the time to speak with me.
▼ 2015 Season Schedule
Skaneateles Festival Wednesday, August 12: KidsFest - Aesop’s Fables: Music and Stories with Susan Reed First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org 11:00 AM Free Event
Nationally recognized singer-songwriter, violinist, banjo player, and storyteller Susan Reed delightfully blends folk music and stories in a participatory program of Aesop’s fables and her own original songs.
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, August 13: Opening Night First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under
featuring: Jennifer Koh, violin; Maria Lambros, viola; Michael Kannen, cello; Julia Bruskin, cello; Orion Weiss, piano; Aaron Wunsch, piano, Jeffrey Irving and Ian Sullivan, percussion
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 14: First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
7:00 PM Backstage Pass: Making Music at the Met In the high-stakes world of grand opera, there is plenty of drama both on and off stage. Conductor Daniel Stewart, orchestra member Julia Bruskin, and star singer Lisette Oropesa share their stories. (open to ticket holders only)
8:00 PM: “Song and Dance” Bizet: Songs Adams: Road Movies Dvorák: Slavonic Dances Schubert: Octet
featuring: Jennifer Koh, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; Orion Weiss, piano; Aaron Wunsch, piano; Lisette Oropesa, soprano; and Musicians from Met Opera
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, August 15: “A Night at the Met” Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Concert Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
Strauss: Die Fledermaus Overture Handel: Piangero la sorte mia from Giulio Cesare Mozart: Deh vieni from The Marriage of Figaro Donizetti: Chacun le sait from La Fille du Regiment Verdi: Sempre libera from La Traviata Mahler: Symphony No. 4 (arr. Klaus Simon)
featuring: Daniel Stewart, conductor; Lisette Oropesa, soprano; Met Opera musicians
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, August 20: First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
7:00 PM Prelude Concert: featuring the 2015 Robinson Award winner, cellist Brian Gadbow.(free for ticket holders only)
J.S. Bach : Prelude from Suite in C Major Shostakovich: Prelude (arr. for 2 Cellos and Piano) Tchaikovsky: Pezzo Capriccioso, Op. 62
8:00 PM “Hungarian Revolution” J. S. Bach: Cantata excerpts for piano four-hands (arr. Kurtág) Enescu: Concert Piece Bartók: Contrasts Dohnanyi: Sextet
featuring: Anthony McGill, clarinet; Beth Guterman, viola; Stewart Rose, horn; Aaron Wunsch, piano; Claremont Trio
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 21: “Coming Together” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Mozart: “Kegelstatt” Trio Rzewski: Coming Together Brahms: Trio in B Major
featuring: Anthony McGill, clarinet; Beth Guterman, viola; Claremont Trio; NOW Ensemble; Dashon Burton, Narrator
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, August 22: NOW Ensemble and Roomful of Teeth Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
Shaw: Partita (2013 Pulitzer Prize) Shaw: Ritornello (World Premiere) Greenstein: (World Premiere) Britelle: High Done No Why To Garbus: Quizassa Burke: How about NOW Greenstein: Change
featuring: Roomful of Teeth & NOW Ensemble
Skaneateles Festival Wednesday, August 26: Workshops for Music Students First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 11:00 AM
Artistic Directors Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin will lead informal daytime workshops for music students of all ages & abilities. All instruments welcome. Advance registration is required. For more info: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, August 27: ECCO - Music for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
2: Bartók: Duos for 2 violins 3: Dvorák: Miniatures 4: Wolf: Italian Serenade 5: Gershwin: Lullaby 6: Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence
featuring: members of ECCO (the East Coast Chamber Orchestra)
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 28: KidsFest “Krazy Klezmer” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org Free Event 11:00 AM
Explore the fascinating sounds of klezmer, vibrant Jewish folk music, sure to make you get up and dance. International star, David Krakauer leads his band of clarinet, accordion, bass, and drums- a program for all ages!
Skaneateles Festival Friday, August 28: “Pathways in Folk Music” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Frank Martin: Trio on Irish Themes Smetana: Trio in G Minor New & Traditional Klezmer Music
featuring: David Krakauer’s Acoustic Klezmer Quartet (clarinet, accordion, bass, drums); Ayano Ninomiya, violin; Peter Rovit, violin; Julia Bruskin, cello; Ken Olsen, cello; Xak Bjerken, piano; Aaron Wunsch, piano
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, August 29: The Four Seasons Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
Vivaldi: Four Seasons - Summer & Fall Piazzolla: Four Seasons - Winter & Spring Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik Stravinsky: Concerto in D Greenstein: Four on the Floor
featuring: ECCO (the East Coast Chamber Orchestra)
Skaneateles Festival Thursday, September 3: “An Evening with the Miro Quartet” First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles 8:00 PM Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under For more information: 315-685-7418 or www.skanfest.org
Skaneateles Festival Friday, September 4: First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles Tickets: $22 to $28, free for children 12 and under
7:00PM Backstage Pass: Life in a String Quartet
8:00 PM Miro Quartet and Aeolus Quartet Dan Welcher: Museon Polemos for String Octet Mendelssohn: Octet
featuring: Miró Quartet and Aeolus Quartet
Skaneateles Festival Saturday, September 5: Festival Finale with Joshua Redman and Brooklyn Rider Brook Farm, 2870 West Lake Road, Skaneateles 7:30 PM Tickets: $22 & $28, free for children 12 and under (Rain location: after 3pm, call 315-685-7418 or visit www.skanfest.org)
The Skaneateles Festival is proud to present the U.S. premiere of a special collaboration between superstar jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and globetrotting string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Together with bassist Matt Penman and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi they perform Patrick Zimmerli’s Aspects of Darkness and Light, a dynamic mix of jazz, classical and world music.